|Protected Areas in Bulgaria
The Bulgarian National Parks are managed in accordance with the Protected Areas Act (1998). The Act specifies that National Parks are managed with the following goals:
- conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife;
- develop educational and scientific activities;
- promote rest and recreation, and
- increase local community welfare without harming the natural habitat.
Bulgaria has three National Parks Pirin, Rila and Central Balkan. They have a total area of 193,049 hectares and comprise more than one-third of all protected areas in Bulgaria. The National Parks belong to the state. They are public property. They are managed and administered by Directorates, operating under the Ministry of Environment and Waters. The Executive Agency for Environment is responsible for providing methodical guidance to the National Park Directorates for ecological monitoring and on matters of environmental quality.
Protected Areas Categories
Parks are refuges for many rare plants and animals of national and global significance. In Bulgarian national parks, unique samples of natural habitats and elements of ecosystems are preserved within reserves. Central Balkan National Park includes nine Reserves - Boatin, Tsarichina, Kozya Stena, Steneto, Severen Djendem, Peeshti Skali, Sokolna, Djendema and Stara Reka. Pirin National Park includes two Reserves, Yulen and Bayuvi dupki-Jinjerica. Rila National Park includes four Reserves: Parangalitsa, Central Rila Reserve, Ibar, and Skakavitsa.
The national protected areas system has six management categories:
- National Parks (3)
- Nature Parks (10)
- Reserves (55)
- Maintained Reserves (35)
- Natural Landmarks (457)
- Protected Localities (175).
Sources: Bulgarian National Parks official website, Protected Areas Fund, Parks in Bulgaria